Mamata Banerjee had stated on March 9 that her party would support Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha elections from the state.
Kolkata: A section of Congress leaders in West Bengal on Wednesday said they were apprehensive that the high-command’s decision to take the support of the Trinamul Congress (TMC) in getting Abhishek Manu Singhvi elected to the Rajya Sabha might not go down well with the party’s rank and file and give an advantage to the BJP.
A senior Congress MLA, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The party may have other national-level equations in mind, but there is no point in humiliating us in front of the TMC, which has tried to destroy the Congress in the state by poaching on our leaders and MLAs.”
“If the views of the party’s state leadership is of no importance, then why did they discuss the matter with us?” he wondered.
Political observers say the TMC extending support to Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha polls from West Bengal is a clear indication of an emerging alliance between the Mamata Banerjee-led party and the Congress, in a bid to stop the BJP’s juggernaut in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Banerjee had stated on March 9 that her party would support Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha elections from the state, even before the Congress’ announcement of the candidature.
The leadership of the state Congress and the CPI(M), which had fought the 2016 Assembly polls in Bengal together, were in talks regarding nominating an independent candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls.
“Both the parties were taken by surprise when the TMC announced its support to Singhvi,” the Congress leader said.
The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Abdul Mannan, however, tried to put up a brave face, saying the TMC’s decision to support Singhvi would not affect the Congress’ equations with the CPI(M) in Bengal.
Referring to the TMC’s support to the Congress’ Rajya Sabha candidate, Pradip Bhattacharya, last year, he said, “Earlier also we had taken the TMC’s support to send our candidate to the Upper House (of Parliament).”
However, several Congress MLAs, who spoke to PTI on the condition of anonymity, said the high-command’s decision would send a wrong message to the party cadre.
“It will give an advantage to the BJP, which is occupying the space of the main Opposition in the state,” they said.
The Congress leaders pointed out that state party chief Adhir Chowdhury and Mannan did not accompany Singhvi, when he filed his nomination papers in the Assembly. Asked about the Congress’ decision to take the TMC’s support in the Rajya Sabha polls, CPI(M) legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “The Congress did whatever they felt was right. It is for them to decide whether they will side with the TMC or fight against its oppression.”